In Conversation With: Finn Beales

May 2014

This is a feature. It’s a new type of content that we’re launching on this blog. We want to share and profile some of the creative people that we admire. Each article will feature a Q&A that sits alongside a display of work. Our very first feature is on a ridiculously talented photographer called Finn Beales. I discovered his work when he was commissioned to photograph the Grundtvig’s Church in Copenhagen for Cereal Magazine. Finn’s portfolio is neatly organised by places.

Despite spending less than two days in some of these locations, he captures the environment around him in intricate detail. Each photo seems to have the ability to take your breath away. Since we discovered him, Finn’s work has become a source of inspiration for our own travel photography. We’ve picked a collection of his work to display below. The images were captured during his trips to Canada, Iceland, Denmark, India, Norway and St Lucia.

Let’s start nice and simple. Why photography? How did you get started?

Both my dad and grandfather were keen (amateur) photographers, but I wouldn’t say I was particularly drawn to it as a kid. I was more into design at school, I’d spend hours crafting typefaces for labels on mix tapes (yep I’m that old!) to give to friends. After college I pursued a career

in graphics and only picked up a camera when the early digital models appeared on the shelves around 2003. I started shooting pictures for use in my design work but began to receive more complements for my photography than I did my graphics and decided it was time to make the switch.

Is there a certain person or place that inspires you to create?

I’m naturally drawn to uninhabited destinations and am motivated more by the physical world around me than by people. I find it easier to create the sort of imagery I want in such places; volcanic landscapes, glaciers, polar regions and deserts.For example, when I

was given the choice of destination to shoot a documentary travel piece for O2 last summer I opted to climb an erupting volcano 149 miles off the coast of Italy! For some reason I find such spaces utterly absorbing; particularly the scale in comparison to myself.

What equipment do you like to shoot with? 

Most of my work is shot using a Canon 5d MKIII and the following lenses: 50mm 1.2, 35mm 1.4, 24-70mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8 but I will occasionally hire a specific lens if the job requires it. I also use my grandfather’s Leica, my dad’s old Olympus 35RC and of course my iPhone 5s.

Would you say your work has a particular style? If so how would you define it? 

I’d say it was fairly cinematic and contemplative. I’m inspired by all sorts of things, but I’m kinda fascinated by the relative lifespan of the universe compared to ourselves. My life, your life, is but a blink of an eye compared to that of the world around us and you’ll often see my hat tip towards such differences in scale throughout my work.

Would you consider using your skill set in photography to create a film?   
Yeah for sure. I’m actually directing a series of short films for the Welsh Tourist Board at the moment. A lot of my stills work involves a series of images that play together to tell a story. Filling the gaps between these frames by making the step to film seems like a logical progression and I’m really enjoying meeting the challenges associated with it.

What’s next? What can we expect from you in the future?

I’d definitely say more astrophotography and time-lapse stuff. I live in the Brecon Beacons National Park which recently became only the fifth destination in the world to be granted International Dark Sky Reserve status so I have little excuse not to. I also have a few overseas trips in the pipeline… one involving a journey across Asia with some pals… we’ve opted for motorbikes as opposed to rickshaws though!

You can find more of Finn’s work on his  website and on his Instagram account. Keep up to date with his latest work by following him on  Twitter.

Share your opinion below.

  • Daniel

    Such inspiring photography. I’ve been following JacksGap for over a year now and both Finn and Jack have inspired me so much in their work. I’m an amateur photographer and I can only say that Finn’s photography just makes me want to explore life to it’s fullest.

    Check out my stuff :)

  • Katie

    Amazing, Finn has given me an insight to a whole new level of photography, hopefully I’ll be able to Improve my photography, Nice work guys:)

  • mary

    the photographs are amazing! :0 did you take them yourself? or did you get someone to help you out?

    • Amy G.

      Finn Beals took these, Jack and Finn (Harries) didn’t take these. Read the article :)

      • mary

        ohh dangggit, there really nice and amazing though.. O.O btw thank you!

  • Iman

    Does he really take those pics with cannon 5d? Wow such nice pictures

  • Rosario Schlagel

    Wow !!! Amazing pictures. Congrats Finn!

  • Marleen Janssen

    Gorgeous photos, breathtaking!

  • stacey

    Breathtaking photos… the natural beauty

  • Shane

    Does anyone know the brand of boots in the first photo? I love the photos and its a great mens look. Thanks

  • A G

    I love the content you put out there as it helps me discover amazing artists like this one! These photos are so stunning. He truly captures the raw energy and beauty of nature! Your videos, photos, and posts are so creative and interesting!
    Love from the states!

  • LilysGap

    Those photographs should be put in a museum! Each photograph is perfect, great job Finn!

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